This article is Part Two of our four-part series on the extraordinary effects of hyperthermic conditioning--or heat acclimation--through sauna use on athletic performance and general health. If this series doesn't convince you that a sauna should be a regular part of your health regimen, nothing will! We believe this information is so important, that we are featuring the series on both our Saunas US and Saunas Canada sites.
This series focuses on and breaks down the information provided by Dr. Rhonda Patrick in her YouTube video "Hyperthermic Conditioning for Hypertrophy, Endurance, and Neurogenesis". See the full video pasted below. Throughout the article, we will direct you to specific points in the video so you can jump straight there.
Hyperthermic Conditioning / Heat Acclimation Through Sauna Use
Heat acclimation--or hyperthermic conditioning--through regular sauna use can have profound effects on health and athletic performance. Specifically, in the following areas:
- increasing endurance capacity
- increasing muscle mass
- improving brain function, including neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells)
- causing the effect known as "Runner's High"
Refer to 1:08 in the video.
The Effects of Heat Acclimation on Muscle Building (4:40)
The following effects occur during hyperthermic conditioning through regular sauna use:
- The production of heat shock proteins is induced. Heat shock proteins repair muscle damage, convert amino acids into muscle tissue, and increase muscle density.
- Growth hormone levels are boosted. Growth hormone is responsible for cell growth and regeneration, and increasing muscle and bone density.
- Insulin sensitivity is improved. Insulin is a protein critical to muscle building.
Muscle Mass Gains Through Sauna Use (6:30)
It was found that two back-to-back sauna sessions at 80 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes boosts growth hormone levels two-fold.
Two sauna sessions for one hour per day for a week cause a 16-fold increase in growth hormone levels. That's huge!
And You'll Live Longer, Too (7:38)
And if that's not enough, it was also found that heat stress, such as through sauna use, boosts lifespan by as much as 15%.
Be sure to check out the entire series on heat acclimation/hyperthermic conditioning: